Suffolk: Ministry of Defence refutes claims of Rendlesham Forest ‘UFO’ cover-up as new documents reveal fresh sightings

File picture of unidentified people at the UFO site in Rendlesham in December 1984.

File picture of unidentified people at the UFO site in Rendlesham in December 1984.

Defence chiefs have strongly denied the Rendlesham Forest ‘UFO’ incident was covered up – as new documents reveal fresh claims of strange objects being spotted across the region’s skies in the last five years.

The files released by the National Archives today show the Ministry of Defence held more than 100 documents on the famous incident in Rendlesham Forest.

Unexplained craft and lights were reported around the airbases of Woodbridge and Bentwaters on December 26 and 27, 1980. The incident remains shrouded in mystery.

But the new data shows the MoD, which held 109 files on the case, has refuted cover-up claims after being bombarded with requests for answers.

Responding to one letter on March 14, 2008, an MoD official said they considered the incident closed, adding: “Those people who seem to believe that the MoD is in some way covering up its deep involvement in a UFO incident are simply wrong. The MoD does not know that UFOs and extra terrestrials exist, however, we remain open minded. You further exert that the MoD “knows” that some UFOs are of extra terrestrial origin. We know no such thing.”

Replying to another letter on August 28, 2008, an MoD official said: “Contrary to the opinion of many ufologists who suspect some sort of cover-up, the reality was that the MoD took a very limited interest in the subject at the time ... There are no hidden files on Rendlesham and no conspiracy of silence by the MoD.”

The Government is releasing the documents after public outcry was sparked when, in 2009, it closed the Ministry of Defence’s UFO desk, which has tracked supposed extra-terrestrial sightings since 1950.

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But the new documents also reveal other reported sightings of UFOs in the region. One Felixstowe man said he saw an “orange/red ball shoot in to the sky” at 8pm on Christmas Eve, 2008. It travelled at a “terrifying speed” before fading, he told the MoD. A Trimley St Mary couple spotted “dancing lights” above the River Orwell on July 15, 2009.

A witness called Newmarket Police after seeing “orange and red lights” on July 24, 2009, and in Bury St Edmunds resident saw “15 red/orangey lights in the sky” the next day.

In Essex, meanwhile, a Brightlingsea police officer saw a “bright orange/yellow” light on New Year’s Eve in 2008. The MoD refused to investigate each case.